This week was a milestone for women in leadership: The Church of England finally voted to allow women to become bishops and three new women took their places in the cabinet reshuffle. Yet I found myself fascinated by the media coverage of these events, so many quick to find the negative angle: “male and pale cull”, “Catholic leaders criticise C&E”, “risky cabinet reshuffle”………………at least there was a backlash against the Daily Mail’s ‘cabinet catwalk’ blunder. Few articles recognised and celebrated the talent of these women and the benefits that greater diversity in the church and central government will bring.
So although the news was positive, it was tinged with warning – the media coverage highlighting the distance we have yet to travel before, as a society, the assumption is that a woman might just be at the top because of her capability. And not because someone else needs to go, not because the organisation needs to change their image and definitely not because of her dress sense!